Niangua River Hills
Points of Interest:
- See a wide range of natural communities characteristic of the Osage River Hills region, including dolomite glades, chert woodlands, fens, headwater streams, and forests.
- Search for the over 300 native plant species found here.
- Enjoy expansive views of the Niangua River hills from open glades above Jakes Creek valley.
Natural Features Description: Many of the natural communities here contain plants and animals adapted to periodic fire. Area management staff use carefully planned prescribed fires to restore glades, woodlands and fens. The area supports four species of conservation concern and many plant and insect species considered to indicative of high-quality natural communities. Diverse glades and associated woodlands support a wealth of wildflowers throughout the season, including Gattinger’s goldenrod, Great Plains ladies’ tresses orchid, and blue hearts – all remnant-dependent species. A number of bird species utilize the restored glades and woodlands including wild turkey, prairie warbler, blue-winged warbler, blue-gray gnatcatcher, eastern wood-pewee, summer tanager, and white-eyed vireo.
This natural area is within Lead Mine Conservation Area. From the intersection of highways 73 and D in Tunas, drive east 3.75 miles on Highway E. At the intersection with Highway T, turn right (south) and travel about a half mile. Then turn left (east) onto Highway YY and go a half mile to the area entrance on the left (north) side. The natural area is split into three subunits – consult the area map for details on accessing each. A map and compass are recommended to explore this area. Hunting and fishing are permitted.